When asked what they would change most about their smile, most people would answer that they would like whiter teeth. Everyone wants effective teeth whitening at an affordable price. You want, teeth whitening options for me.
At Caring Smiles Dental, we want you to be able to make an informed decision about your quest for a whiter brighter smile.
Over time, our teeth can lose their luster and go from white to not-so-bright for a number of reasons.
Food and Drink: What we eat and drink can have an impact on the color of our teeth. Certain liquids like red wine, coffee and tea can stain the teeth and cause discolorations. Foods that contain chromogens or intense color pigments can also cause staining by attaching to the enamel of the teeth.
Tobacco use: The nicotine and tar in cigarettes is a major cause of tooth staining. Nicotine is colorless on its own, but when it mixes with oxygen, it turns into a yellowish substance that discolors the teeth. Tar is naturally dark and sticks easily to the teeth.
Trauma: Teeth that have suffered trauma respond to the injury by laying down more layers of dentin, which is a darker layer underneath the enamel of the tooth.
Medications: Tooth discoloration can be a side effect of certain medications. Children who have been exposed to certain antibiotics such as tetracycline and doxycycline during tooth formation may have discolorations later in life.
Age: The layer underneath the top layer or enamel of the tooth is softer and darker in color. As we age, the enamel slowly wears away and becomes thinner, exposing the darker layer of dentin beneath.
Teeth whitening can be an effective way to brighten your smile however, it is important to discuss the process with your dentist before making your decision as there are a few things to be aware of.
First, whiteners will not be effective on crowns, veneers or fillings, and on teeth that have sustained trauma or discoloration due to medications. Yellowed teeth usually respond well, however, brown teeth are less likely to whiten sufficiently, and grayed teeth may not respond at all. Secondly, there are some risks involved. You may experience tooth sensitivity or gum irritation following whitening procedures. These are usually short-lived, but the bleaching solution concentration may need to be adjusted. Overuse of whiteners may cause damage to the enamel of the teeth and to gum tissue, so it is important to follow the direction of your dentist. Third, you and your dentist will need to discuss your treatment plan if you are having dental work done. For example, some dental work will change the way your teeth come together, and thus the shape of your whitening trays. Also, as previously stated, whitening will not affect restorations. These factors and others will need to be discussed, and your treatment may need to be planned in conjunction with your whitening regimen. In addition, there are certain individuals that will not be good candidates for this procedure. Pregnant or nursing women or people with untreated tooth decay should not undergo teeth whitening.
There are a number of options for teeth whitening.
The least expensive is over the counter kinds of toothpaste, trays and mouth rinses. These products all use some form of hydrogen peroxide as the whitening agent. While they are mildly effective, OTC products are not as effective as what you can get from your dentist, and because there is no dental monitoring of the process, misuse or overuse of the product can occur and may cause sensitivity, gum irritation and in some instances, permanent damage to tooth enamel. For these reasons, we at Caring Smiles Dental strongly suggest that you speak with your dentist before starting any teeth whitening process.
In-Office teeth whitening systems such as Zoom or Brite-Smile are done in your dentist’s office are very popular due to their quick results. The typical in-office teeth whitening procedure lasts between 30-60 minutes. There are distinct disadvantages to this type of whitening, however. They are the most expensive option by far, and the results tend to be shorter lasting. In addition, in-office whitening procedures use a much higher concentration of hydrogen peroxide in combination with heat. This can increase the side effects of teeth whitening dramatically. This procedure required that the teeth be very dry during the treatment. This dehydration of the teeth speeds up the whitening time, but it is short-lived, as the teeth will quickly return to near original color as saliva again coats the tooth surface. For this reason, your dentist may need to send you home with custom trays and bleaching gel to maintain the results. The dehydration of the teeth and exposure to increased temperatures during this procedure can cause inflammation of nerves surrounding the teeth. This inflammation can cause mild to moderate tooth pain after in-office whitening procedures.
Caring Smiles Dental recommends the custom tray teeth whitening method used by most dental offices. We believe it is the most cost effective and comfortable procedure for whitening and will give you the best results. We utilize a bleaching gel that contains carbamide peroxide, which is stronger than over-the-counter products. Different concentrations are available and can be tailored to meet your specific needs and goals. We will take an impression of your teeth to make whitening trays for you to take home. You will then receive specific instructions on how to apply the bleaching gel into the trays, and for how long to leave them in your mouth. Your progress during the treatment can be monitored and adjusted if needed. You will also be instructed on maintaining your new sparkling smile.
A bright smile is an investment that gives great dividends. We love to partner with our patients to give them a dazzling, happy smile! Come in today to discuss your options.